In May 2014 IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee adopted the amendments to the IMDG Code contained in Resolution MSC.372(93) Amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. Contracting governments may apply the new requirements, in part or in whole, on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2015. Mandatory compliance will be required from 1 January 2016. Some existing provisions concerning labelling and warning marks may continue to be applied until 31 December 2016.
Of the numerous changes to the Code detailed in MSC.372(93), several are of particular interest:
- Twenty new United Nations (UN) numbers have been added (UN3507 to UN3526), covering various absorbed gases, uranium hexafluoride, asymmetric capacitors and discarded, empty, unclean packaging.
- The Dangerous Goods List has been reorganised and column 16 has been divided to cover separately stowage and handling (16a) and segregation (16b). Stowage on deck and/or under deck is still defined by stowage categories 01 to 05 (Class 1) and A to E (Classes 2 – 9). Provisions related to the stowage, handling and segregation, which were previously detailed in full in column 16, are now coded using one or more of 28 stowage codes (prefix SW), 4 handling codes (prefix H) and 75 segregation codes (prefix SG).
- Numerous amendments have been made to the provisions covering Class 7 radioactive goods.
- A number of changes to the special provisions and packing instructions have been introduced.
The 37-14 amendments have been incorporated into the 2014 edition of the IMDG Code which is due for publication in November 2014.